Local Spotlight: Project READ

Project READ is a non-profit book distribution and literacy council that has been operating in the Dayton area for over 30 years. It provides a wide variety of books and literature for children and adults. Because of the pandemic, Project READ became an all-volunteer organization in 2020, and has enhanced its focus on book collection and book redistribution throughout the metro Dayton area.

“Since 2008, Project READ has developed a group of supporters who have helped to provide the books needed to fuel this wonderful donation machine,” says Project READ board president Tom Farnbacher. “Over the past few years, college students, schools, churches, corporations and teams of individuals have run book drives for Project READ..”

How did Project READ get started?

Project READ was formed in 1990 by a group of educators, business leaders, and philanthropists to pursue the mission of improving literacy in the Dayton area and Montgomery County, and surrounding counties. Literacy remains an urgent, multi-generational need within the Dayton region. Project READ’s mission is to build literacy through book distribution and collaboration with literacy organizations.

Where do you distribute books?

We distribute books through local educational organizations, non-profits and community events. 2021 has been a turning point for Project READ. Since Covid-19 has limited school distribution, we have supplemented our network by creating and fostering several new distribution programs to provide books through Food Bank Pantries.

“Project READ is looking to increase donations to Dayton area recipients from 15,000 books a year to 30,000 next year,” Project READ volunteer Chip Houghton says. “This significant increase in outbound donation capacity is due to a new partnership with The Foodbank, Inc. The partnership features grade level sorted books that are distributed directly to families through local food pantries supplied by Project READ.

What do you have planned for the future?

Currently, Project READ is evaluating its position in promoting literacy and supporting children’s education. As we develop our new strategic plan for our future, we are developing a number of critical literacy initiatives, including expanding our book donation program and re-establishing our literacy collaborations.

How can people help Project READ?

We have immediate and urgent needs to assist our transformation through book and financial donations. In addition, as we reestablish our literacy programs, we are resetting our social media campaign and website. People can also:
Create local book drives.

Donate books. Project READ book donation bins are available across the Dayton area.

Support the organization with a financial donation.

For more information on Project READ, visit project-read.org.

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